The Aussies Koby Abberton and Dingo Morrison here on a 3-minute ride.
Had the time of my life at the Silver Dragon.
It was my rookie year but I got the hot seat as river comms. Basically that means relaying instructions from event supervisors Glenn & Bao, Mr. Xu the rivermaster of Hangzhou and contest director PT. In reality it meant I was the young rookie punk shouting at all the Chinese boats to stay back and shouting at the surfers pushing the envelope. Not the most fun job trying to tell people who know better than you what to do! But worth seeing the wave… Huge thank you to everyone in the Silver Dragon crew for let me draw on their experience every step of the way.
The wave itself is out of my writing capacity to describe. Matt Wybenga, Mike Ortiz and the rest of the video crew (Greg Bible, Eric Peniata, Keith Kipp) as well as Andy will be producing video shortly. I’ll share the links when available.
Last but not least…thanks so much Glenn, Bao and PT for the invite to chase the Dragon. Needless to say incredibly stoked for the opportunity to witness this incredible wave and join the Silver Dragon crew.
Scored with my bro Logan in Hualien County Taiwan.
Typhoon due for direct hit on East Coast TW veered north to Japan.
Result: sunshine and double overhead sets. Like a perfect Hualien winter day minus chilly water.
S c o r e d !
My bro Logan runs a surf hostel. They drive a surf van equipped with roof rack that will fit all your boards including longboards. Daily missions along the entire Hualien coast and most of Taitung too on request. Facebook page here. Tell him the code ROTKNEE and he’ll give you my price.
For more info on Hualien, check @kalingko_surfers on Instagram. The lineup vibe here is super friendly and tight knit (unless you’re a dick, obviously).
6ish pm on the day of the typhoon. Only 3 guys out and the other two were Kwan and Antony Dickson.
Unfortunately I tailgated Antony on a duckdive on a large one rolled and somehow snapped the nose off my board hitting his tail. I’m the kook of the day. Sorry Antony. His McCoy was fine though, part from a small gash. hmm, they’re sturdy.
Went out again for round 2 and a big one ripped the leash off my ankle. No one in the water. Bit scary. Board got lost on the rocks and found it the next day. All wrecked. One for the wall. Thanks JC for keeping an eye and making sure I wasnt gonna drown.
It was 8am in Sawarna and not a soul to be found in the lineup.
Message on FB @rotkneesurfer for travel information (and a local guide) in West Java. I’ll be happy to trade information or hook you up with the locals I met.
We were on our first day here, and the four of us were tired from the drive.
Prior I’d been sleepless all night throughout a power cut and the boys had landed the night before at 12am in Jakarta. They’d immediately shoved themselves into a car, tanking the 4-hour night drive into West Java. It was 5 am by the time they arrived to pick me up en route. Around the same time that the mosques started broadcasting prayers on speaker.
I get in the car; we mumble our greetings before drifting back to sleep. Ahead of us where the road would end was another motorbike ride on dirt roads. Those roads on the back of a bike make for a fairly good wake-up call, especially if you’re carrying your board bag.
Fast forward to after the bike ride, we’re standing at the villa terrace, stoked at our sleeping arrangements and looking at out at the wave.
“What you reckon guys? 7 foot?” says Kev.
When we were in the water, it seemed triple overhead to me. It was one the longest paddle-outs from the beach I’d experienced, and the wave was breaking way offshore. Over the next few days we surfed it only head high (as seen in pic above) over less than 2-3feet of reef when the paddle-out must have been a mere fraction of that on the first day.
When we hit the water I turned around to catch a quick onshore right – just a bottom turn and kick out. It wasn’t a set wave or anything, just saw something I liked and picked off opportunistically.
That wave ended up being the only wave I caught that session.
At the peak we were joined by an Aussie called Rob and an Iranian American, who both charged. Six people in the water, including us.
I spent two hours out there paddling into waves and going chicken. One time I got in the way on Rob (the Aussie)’s inside. I fucked his wave up super bad and heard him yelling bollocks as he went over the falls while I duckdived. At least double overhead over the falls. He must have gotten worked, but when he paddled out again he seemed not to care. Rob was from Margaret River. The conditions that day were probably something like a normal day at the beach for him at home.
That session I saw a sea turtle and was pretty stoked. But 2 weeks later we meet up back in HK. Only then do I hear that two separate occasions people I know had seen a shark at Sawarna with sightings less than 1 week apart. They think the shark was a hammerhead though! Sorry to let you down.
Here’s a nice picture of Sawarna to make up for it. What a delicious place to be caught inside.